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Crafted in British heritage, Clarks has been one of the most successful global franchising brands in footwear arena. The brand has 600 stores across UK out of which 112 are franchisee-run. It also has a thriving wholesale and e-commerce presence too.
In a dialogue with Franchise India, Mark Darmanin, Vice President- Retail Development Asia Pacific, Clarks offers success tips and opportunities for franchisees in India.
What opportunities are you offering for investors in India?
With 19 operational franchise stores in India, Clarks offers tremendous opportunities for franchisees. Keen to add 30 franchise stores over the next two years, we offer our Indian franchisees access our global best practices of footwear retail.
Rule 1: Why does this business want to franchise with you?
It is normally either security or skill. Security of your brand, your history, your heritage, your name, your power. Less risk, a more secure return. Less financial investment on the franchisees' side. Skill, it maybe because they need the franchisors' knowledge and experience, the support and infrastructure that the brand has. To tap into the brands creativity and innovation or possibly the skill in the ever changing employment and legal laws. Find this out as it will help you answer rule 2.
Rule 2: Are they suited to your business?
Just because a guy loves shoes and has a passion for fashion doesn't mean that he can operate a great retail business. What skill do they bring to the business? If they are lacking a skill, do I as the franchisor have the means to develop them in this area.
Rule 3: Are they willing to follow direction?
Some potential franchisees are mistaken when they believe that they own a business when they sign a franchise agreement. They don't. They own the right to operate the business. They need the follow the rules if they wish to join our club.
Rule 4: Do they have a track record in a customer facing business?
Our business is a consumer facing business and does the potential franchise partner have skill and experience in this area.
Rule 5: Do they have a passion to succeed?
Too many potential franchise partners believe that once they are a franchisee, it will be easy because they have the support of a major brand. The brand gives the franchisee the vehicle, the franchisee needs to drive the vehicle to succeed. Operational support is given but the franchise but they will need to manage the business.